Extending the life of our mowers..how?

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by GarPA, Jan 1, 2004.

  1. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    Just gave the mowers wash and wax jobs yesterday. Aside from paint chips here and there, they are in pretty good shape after a couple years.

    Since I've only had commercial equipment for a relatively short time compared to many of you, I was wondering if some of you mower veterans would care to share some other useful maintenance tips that you learned the hard way and wished you had done a better job doing when your machine was newer. (changing oil and filters is a given as well as proper greasing). I;m more interested in things beyond those items that jumped up and bit you and that could have been prevented with a little more TLC. Things like deck maintenance, grease fittings that appear to have been lubed enough, but weren't,etc.. ...thanks much.
  2. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,469

    NAPA (an others) make larger filters for our mowers. I'm using the same filter on my Kaw's that fit my old GMC truck. It's double the size, which means it holds more oil and has twice the filter area.
  3. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    Now Pete dont laugh when I ask this next stupid question...how do I know how much more oil to put in so as to give it enough for the new filter size, but not so much as to overfill??
  4. LawnScapers of Dayton

    LawnScapers of Dayton LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Dayton, OH
    Messages: 2,572

    What do these filters cost.....ballpark???

  5. J.Gordon

    J.Gordon LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 674

    The filters are about the same money if not cheaper. Just get a good brand filter like Wix..

    Just check your dipstick. And add if needed.

    One thing that I do is drill an extra grease zerk in the spindle for a grease relief. So I don’t overfill my spindles, if the spindles don’t have even one zerk, I will drill and tap two holes. One for a zerk (entry) -one for a relief.(exit) just make sure you remove one zerk before adding grease. Then replace when complete. This way you can get all the old grease out and put fresh in, and not having to worry about over filling. Just make sure if your spindles are maintenance free. The bearings will have a dust cover on them, you need to remove the dust cover facing the inside on the outer bearings, so the grease can get to the bearing.

    Another thing that I am going to get is called a filter-minder. It works off vacuum, when your filter gets restricted you can visibly tell when you need to replace your filter. That way you have less chances to get contaminants in your machine.
    Hope this helps

    Jeff :waving:
  6. J.Gordon

    J.Gordon LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 674

    By the way I am not a mower veteran. I am just getting into the lawn-care business, but I have worked in industrial maintenance for quite a while.

  7. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    Synthetic oils, & grease, can almost double engine life and parts
    Amsoil is great as are others. They work well in trucks also.

  8. General Grounds

    General Grounds LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 902

    :blob3: we wash all equiptment than we have a checklist we go through and replace any damaged or worn parts, we have 12 mowers and we do a really good job during the season fixing any problems during the year so our check up now is pretty minimal. we check this such as battery voltage, belts, pulleys, change oils(engine and hydro) plugs, filters, i even do a leakdown test on older mowers this tells us the internal condition of the motor. this tester is made by kohler and costs about $125.00. we also replace any any bad spindle bearing. we also use amsoil products and they happen to be great. tony
  9. PLI1

    PLI1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    One thing that I am sure to do along with changing oil, greasing zerks and keeping the machine clean is paying special attention to the air filter. The bigger and better the air filtration system, the better. On filters with the foam pre-cleaner, always clean and soak with oil per manufacturers directions. It's amazing how much dirt they catch as opposed to using dry! I clean and inspect with each oil change and more often when mulching leaves and use during dusty dry periods. Doing this along with everyone elses tips above will greatly increase the life of your machines!
  10. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    pl...isn't there now a recommendation from Kawi NOT to oil the prefilter? I think I read or heard that somewhere...I need to go look at the Kawi manuals again...wonder why they say this now, if in fact they have?

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